When I was in Los Angeles with Disney, we got the chance to chat with Lupita Nyong’o for Disney’s Queen of Katwe movie! She came along with two new Ugandan actors Madina Nalwanga and Martin Kabanza, and they all shared their experience filming the movie.
Do y’all see this magic?! I am so fortunate to have been able to interview Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o for Disney’s Queen of Katwe movie! She plays the mother of chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, the moment she walked into the room with Madina Nalwanga (Phiona) and Martin Kabanza (Brian), they seemed like a real family. Lupita Nyong’o is simply stunning, and I loved listening to her, Madina, and Martin share their experiences on set while filming the movie! Here are some fun facts they shared…
Fun facts: Interview with Lupita Nyong’o for Disney’s Queen of Katwe
When Lupita first met the kids, Madina and Martin, they were like instant family! The kids started calling her “mom” right away, and they still do. Lupita says that Madina taught her how to cook, and that it was the perfect ice breaker when they first met. “She sold corn in her past and I asked her to show me to go shopping in the market. My whole onscreen family, we went and did it together and then we went back to her house and she showed me how to prepare the meal.” She says that Martin even helped to cook somewhere in the process!
Nyong’o was a role model for first time actor Madina Nalwanga. She did not know anything about acting, and Nyong’o taught her how to get into character and really cry when she needed to in some of the scenes. Nalwanga says, “Every time I could see her getting ready, getting to character and then I do what she was doing in a quiet ways and she can’t see me, but she was really good and she really helped me in some of the hard scenes.” Both Martin and Madina did not have their mothers around, so calling Lupita their mom was very touching.
When asked about their favorite scenes in the movie:
Martin Kabanza – A scene where they were eating chicken! The kid sin this movie did not eat chicken at home, so they were scarfing it down. After a few takes, they were super full and wanted nothing to do with it!
Madina Nalwanga – The “cat and dog” scene. This was a part of the movie where the kids were crtying and discouraged, and David Oleyowo (Robert) cheered them up with a fun and crazy story. Nalwanga says, “I’ve never had someone who has time for me, who has time for all of us. Like, he had time for us, so he could do the cat and dog playing for us and I looked at him. It was fun for me. I liked it, but I felt it because I felt it because ever since, for all of my life, I’ve never had someone like that.”
Lupita Nyong’o – There is a flood scene that Nyong’o elaborated on, she says that they shot this scene in the winter months in South Africa, so it was freezing cold. They had to go into the water to shoot this scene, Nyong’o says “we would get to set, get into our costumes, go into a hot tub, get wet and then go into this freezing cold water all day and every time they said, cut, we’d run to this hot tub.” Yikes!
I loved meeting these three actors, they were wonderful and so personable to us all. Make sure you head out to the theater September 30th to see Madina Nalwanga, Martin Kabanza, and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o for Disney’s Queen of Katwe! This is such a spectacular film that Nyong’o says that there is a general blanket statement of “Africa”, when there are indeed so many cultures and experiences on the continent. She is “happy to be able to play a part in making the African woman the global woman.”
Disney’s Queen of Katwe movie is in theaters September 30th!
I am attending a press trip courtesy of Disney. Travel, lodging and other logistics are provided, opinions are those of Honey + Lime.